Early notice of the next 3000 show
Thanks to Unix, MPE lives in comfort

Developing PowerHouse migration tools

Even as Speedware announced its new alliance with old rival Cognos to help PowerHouse customers migrate, the Cognos development team was at work to create tools to help. Word recently surfaced on the PowerHouse mailing list about a new Cognos program, QKView, which transforms PowerHouse Quick screens to an interface ready for the Windows version of PowerHouse.

Quick Developer Ken Langendock has been working alongside Cognos developers to do a migration using QKView since March of last year.

"I have had the luxury of working with Bob Deskin and the developers at Cognos for the past 10 months as I have been migrating and developing with QKView," Langendock said.

He added that he hopes this project "helps in dismissing the current discussion that Cognos' [development tools division] is dying, abandoned or whatever.

Some Cognos customers believe that the lack of visibility for PowerHouse is a sign the product will fade from the vendor's future strategies. But Langendock notes that the new product (shown in a before and after at left; click for more detailed shots of the screens) permits an application to "1) Have function keys in Windows; 2) Use a mouse on the function keys on Windows; 3) Cut and Paste text from and to fields; 4) Embed your company logo on the top of the application; 5) Change the font/colors; 6) Size the window like any other windows app."

QkviewSome customers have responded to Langendock's revelation; he said he learned he could talk openly about the product, which he says is scheduled for an April or May release. They said the "invisibility" of PowerHouse says much more than any one product scheduled for the 8.41E release. The senior product manager for PowerHouse countered those comments with a list of supported databases, as well as Cognos' plans for expanding the functionality of PowerHouse.

"The biggest issue is the invisibility of Powerhouse," said Darren Reely. "Most IS-type people seem to have never heard of it, and that is reflected in the job market. For those that have heard of it and try finding it on the Cognos site, they would be better off using Google than the Cognos front page, which I have always found to be a horrific statement of Cognos corporate support."

Bob Deskin, product manager for PowerHouse, assured the PowerHouse community that development continues apace for the language once only second to COBOL among HP 3000 applications.

What follows is a summary of the supported environments for PowerHouse 4GL and PowerHouse Web 8.4E and Axiant 4GL 3.4E. Note that in some cases, not all supported database versions are available on all operating system versions. This is current as of today but is subject to change depending on what the various vendors release.

8.49E – MPE/iX – HPe3000
- MPE/iX 6.5 Express 2, 7.0, and 7.5

8.40E – OpenVMS – Alpha
- OpenVMS 7.3-2, 8.2, and 8.3
- Oracle 9i (9.2.0) and 10g (10.2.0)
- Oracle Rdb 7.1 and 7.2

8.40E – OpenVMS – Itanium
- OpenVMS 8.2-1 and 8.3
- Oracle 10g (10.2.0)
- Oracle Rdb 7.2

8.43E – HP-UX – HP9000 PA-RISC
- HP-UX 11i V1 and 11i V2
- Eloquence B.07.00 and B.07.10
- Omnidex 3.8.0

8.43E – HP-UX – Itanium
- HP-UX 11i V2

8.43E – AIX – RS/6000 and pSeries
AIX 5L 5.2 and 5.3

8.43E – Solaris - SunSPARC
Solaris 8 (2.8), 9 (2.9), and 10

8.43E - UNIX (HP-UX, AIX, Solaris)
- C-ISAM 7.25
- Image Emulators using the Eloquence interface (these are tested by the third party vendors)
- Oracle 9i (9.2.0) and 10g (10.2.0)
- Sybase ASE 12.5 (12.5.0) and 15.0 (15.0)
- DB2 8.2 and 9 (via 8.2 client)
- DataDirect 5.1 to SQL Server 2000 and 5.2 ODBC to SQL Server 2000 and 2005

8.41E/3.4E – Windows – Intel X86 32 bit and 64 bit
- Windows 2000 SP4, XP Pro SP2, 2003 Server Release 2, 2003 Server Release 2 x64
- Eloquence B.07.00 and B.07.10
- Image Emulators using the Eloquence interface (these are tested by the third party vendors)
- Omnidex 3.8.0
- Oracle 9i (9.2.0) and 10g (10.2.0)
- Sybase ASE 12.5 (12.5.0) and 15.0 (15.0)
- DB2 8.2 and 9 (via 8.2 client)
- SQL Server 2000 and 2005 (via ODBC)
- SQL Anywhere 9.0 (via ODBC)

Enhancements planned for the E release of PowerHouse 4GL

Windows related

- QKView - QUICK GUI for Windows - like a terminal emulator
- NOCONSOLE option for RUN COMMAND in QUICK suppresses opening another console window
- QUICK function keys
- TIC and DFK support in QKGO
- Subfile location cleaned up

Relational related
- ITEM OMIT option in QUICK and QTP for read-only columns to handle databases that don't return this information
- bulkfetch program parameter to provide some tuning for fetch
- autodetach program parameter for Sybase
- Oracle external procedure (user defined function) support

Migration related
- PHTEMPKEEP environment variable to allow temporary subfiles to be kept for batch compiles
- ETOP utility provides the same functionality as ITOP but for Eloquence on UNIX and Windows

Additional features
- Reverse read for RMS ISAM on OpenVMS
- QUIZ report line size limit increased to 32,767
- IA64 and PARISC conditional compile parameters
- reuse_screen_buffers program parameter to help performance in some cases

And, for PowerHouse Web

- UI cleanup
- Drag and Drop in Application Properties and on the PHCGI tab
- Ability to write PHCGI configuration files locally for subsequent copying to the target location

Layout related
- Fields with errors can be identified using a specified character or string (which can include HTML)
- Error messages can include the field label or heading instead of the field name
- The remaining embedded text strings can be translated using SET options
- A default style sheet can be specified as a SET option
- The horizontal line can be suppressed
- The buttons can be positioned above or below the data fields (you can already turn the buttons off)
- The message line can be positioned above or below the data fields

Processing related
- Multiple error messages can be generated if needed
- A WEBEXIT procedure is available
- A DEFER LINKPAGE can be reset or stopped on an error condition
- The content type header can be specified as a SET option

Dispatcher related
- The Dispatcher restart interval can be set to a specific start time plus interval
- A new two-way routing Dispatcher provides specific ports into and out of a firewall